Condom Cab Hits Pothole at City Hall

After Pulling Plug on Vibrator Giveaway, NYC Threatens Trojan Taxi Valentine's Day Promo

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Trojan's condom cabs could be in for a rough ride: The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission said it hadn't heard from the Church & Dwight Co. brand or its PR shop Edelman to clear its Valentine's Day promotion prior to yesterday's story on AdAge.com and believes it may violate regulations.

A rendering of a Trojan Safe Ride tiaxi
A rendering of a Trojan Safe Ride tiaxi Credit: Edelman

"They haven't reached out to us," said Allan Fromberg, deputy commissioner for public affairs at the TLC. "So imagine my surprise when they said they'd secured the necessary medallions. You can't lease the medallion unless you're a licensee. I honestly don't know the first thing about what they're saying they're going to do."

A spokesman from Edelman for Trojan declined to comment late Tuesday pending further discussions with the TLC.

Trojan plans to have its fleet of three Safe Rides taxis pick up passengers in the Greenwich Village and New York University areas from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Feb. 14 and 15. As part of the promotion, riders are to get free rides as they're quizzed on sexual-health topics by Trojan representatives riding shotgun. But the current flap -- which could be simply due to a miscommunication with the commission -- could spell problems for the brand if it isn't resolved soon.

"On its face, they would at least be in violation of the provision that you cannot hold yourself out as a taxi or in the manner of a taxi if you are not properly licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission," Mr. Fromberg said. "Our legal department is in the process of reaching out directly to the appropriate people at the brand, and they'll be suitably notified that they would be at risk if they were to run afoul of our regulations."

This would be the second time in four months Trojan has had a run-in with New York City. A vibrator giveaway was suspended for a day in August when it drew large crowds but lacked proper permits.

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